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Lissa, Elder Dragon of Light – Metallic Dragon

Lissa is one of the metallic dragon species. Though other dragons may have shiny scales or those in a color that resembles one of the chief metals, the metallic dragons are another type of dragon altogether. Lissa is an excellent example of this group, with silver scales covering over her form. These are much harder than a typical dragon scale, being made up of the metal itself. She takes very good care of her scales, as they are prone to tarnish over time. Lissa is rather small, and has large wings to make up for her heavy body.

Lissa appeared along with the other seven (minus Hydros) Elder Dragons back when they were exploring the new world. She was always a bit more arrogant than the others, and her appearance caused some of the races to desire to worship her and set her as their leader. She was happy to take that position, and for a rather long while, Lissa sat in her home in the Free World, a god-queen ruling over the people.

But when science and technology started to reign, she was forgotten. Her worshippers and her people came less and less to her home. When she left the temple that had been built, they would acknowledge her and return to their duties. Her anger was strong, and she lashed out a few times, but the people stopped worshipping her over time. Distraught, she fled to Cathemega not long before the Cataclysm where she now lives in solitude in the mountains west of Moore.

Inia, Elder Dragon of the Sky – Sky Dragon

Unsurprisingly, the dragoness who took the realm of the sky is one of the sky dragons. Think Chinese dragon and you’re almost right. She is very long, has no wings, and has pure white scales head to toe. Her horns are sleeked back towards her back, and through simple undulation and a bit of magic application, Inia can fly through the air. The sky dragon species are all like this, and all of them are similar in nature to Inia – playful, a bit easily distracted, but very wise.

Inia never really was one to play along with the other dragons. She was always a bit of a headcase in their eyes. She went to the tall mountain Nier Numaqaya which is south of Dragon’s Throat as her home. This was long before the humans came to the southlands, and she always enjoyed living at the highest peak in Cathemega. When Dragon’s Throat was founded, the people called it Diamerok.

The dragoness soon became curious enough to meet the new inhabitants. Although initially frightened, the people became completely enamored with the playful nature of the beautiful dragoness. She became an icon, and although she never lived in the town, they still consider her to be an important part of the city – which they changed the name to Dragon’s Throat as an honor to her.

Dimengo, Elder Dragon of Darkness – Ancient Black Dragon

Dimengo is the oldest and the most solitary of the dragons. He is of the common dragon species – with nothing truly definitive about him. He is long, sturdy, and covered in black scales. Verosh used to be one of the common blacks as well, but left behind his dragon body for that of the dracolich. Those speaking call Dimengo an ‘ancient’ dragon to appease his sense of pride, and because he truly is an ancient dragon. He is very roughed up, with missing scales, a missing eye, and patches in his wings. He can still fly despite the ragged appearance of his wings.

Dimengo was the leader of the dragons when they left their plane to explore the new world. He was always a bit of a grouch, but never to the limit he is now. His attitude changed when he was one of the targets of the Hunt. Dimengo tried to lead his people to safety, tried to tell them to return through the planes, but they were all too stubborn and too foolish to understand. The eldest of the dragons knew he had to protect his kin.

When he fought, he used all his power to do so. He saw his family – Kasius, Verosh, and the orignal Elder Dragon of Life – fall to the evil king. His eye was gouged out by a dragon hunter’s lance, and his body scarred and wounded before he managed to escape to the mountains in the south of Tavsere. He is no longer hunted, but he distrusts the species who live in Cathemega.

Settesk, Elder Dragon of the Earth – Sand Dragon

Another unsurprising one, the Elder Dragon of Earth, Settesk, is of the species known as Sand Dragons. These sand or earth colored dragons find their homes in the deserts and badlands. Another non-winged species, these large beasts roam the sandy dunes with the ability to burrow in and dig through the undersoil. They don’t move very quickly, and use the dunes as cover to avoid being injured. Short and kind of squat, these dragons are much less capable of defending themselves than others.

Settesk always was curious about the humanoids living in the deserts. While the other dragons left from where they came in by flight, this dragon merely walked back towards the desert to the south. Here he met the humans and the Mesans living around Wivverin, and grew accustomed to their ways. When the evil king began the Hunt, Settesk fled to Canyon to protect himself.

The Mesan people enjoyed Settesk’s presence there, and called him a friend. When the king offered his fee to slay the Elder Dragon, the Mesan refused, sent the king’s army away. A small siege began, but the king’s army couldn’t last long enough and they left. Settesk still lives near Canyon, running there for protection and safety when he needs it.

I’ve been reading Terry Prachett’s “Guards! Guards!” and it prompted me to write this post on the only actual dragons living (mostly) on the planet Dramoth Gilead. As I explained before, dragons are extra-planar beings, who only visited the planet in its infancy to teach and talk and learn from the inhabitants. The majority of these great beasts left the planet behind, but a few of them remained, some due to enjoying the area, others because they were asked to stay by the tallis. There are eight of these dragons, each of them representing a different element, as each of them also embodies one of the eight types of draconic being.

Kasius, Elder Dragon of Fire – Red Gilded Dragon

The first of the dragons I’ll talk about is Kasius, the fire dragon. He resides in the high peaks near Kordera with his mate Teressa (who I’ll talk about in a minute.) Kasius is an example of the gilded dragons, a species of dragon whose bodies are coated with both regular scales and harder, golden colored ones. Kasius is one of the largest of the dragon elders, thirty feet in length, with a huge, powerful body and an enormous wingspan. He is very wise, his cave – instead of being filled with treasure – is filled with artifacts, books, instruments of science, and other tools. He often takes a human form, using his magic to do so – and the form is a young man with blond hair.

Kasius was one of three dragons to fall during the Hunt – a period of time where a brutal dictator (under command of Destruction) sought to slay the Elder Dragons, despite their docile nature. The original Elder Dragon of Life and Verosh, Elder Dragon of Death, were both killed, but Kasius managed to barely hold onto life. A young woman named Teressa found him, struggling to move and struggling to stay to life. Teressa stayed by the dragon, feeding him, caring for his wounds. Over time she grew to love him, and when the men tried to attack Kasius, she put herself between him and them. Her love for the dragon (and also his human form) was enough that she managed to keep the king’s men from killing him.

The king, however, struck the woman down, stabbed her to death. Kasius, enraged, fought and killed the evil man. As Teressa was on the brink of death, Kasius cried aloud to the elements to help. His compassion and his heartbreak resulted in a brilliant burst of energy, and Teressa’s body became that of the Elder Dragon of Life.

Teressa, Elder Dragon of Life – Celestial Dragon

While all true dragons are extra-planar beings, there’s a special place reserved for the celestials. These beautiful dragons are covered in white and silver scales, with tiny pin points of light showing through the gaps between the scales. They don’t have leathery wings, instead they have feathered wings. Teressa is shorter than her mate, and lives happily in the caves with him. Her curious nature works well with Kasius’s intelligence, and the two of them together spend a lot of their time learning and traveleing. She, like her mate, takes on human form often, looking like her original appearance despite the long time she’s been alive.

Teressa was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. She was a kind, beautiful, and full of compassion for all things. It was no surprise that she saw to aid the near death dragon, Kasius, when he needed her help. It was his nature that drew her to him, and somehow, despite the species gap, she felt love for the dragon. When he needed her to rescue him, she put herself between the mob and her love. Her compassion got her killed, but instead of going to the deep sleep of death, she was reborn into the lost body of the Elder Dragon of Life.

Now inhabiting a much more powerful form, she’s had to reconcile her new life with her old. Her family accepted her – though they’re long gone – and in the years since, she’s grown to be a wise, powerful example of dragonhood.

Hydros, Elder Dragon of Water – Whale Dragon

The whale dragon is an unusual species of dragon. These creatures live the majority of their lives in or around the sea. They have four limbs, but the rest of their bodies are designed for swimming. They have powerful muscles, finned limbs, and a sleek tail with a fin on the end. Hydros is not very big, and is a somewhat youthful dragon. Instead of scales, his body is covered in a blue, rubbery skin. He is only around fifteen feet in length.

Hydros is the youngest of the dragon elders, even younger than Teressa, although he is still quite older than the majority of those living on the planet. He came to the planet Dramoth Gilead not too long before the Cataclysm. He was not involved in the Hunt, but came to the planet near the tallis home in Sedurka. The tallis chose to build the great temple to house him, but he has never actually done much besides hold court there.

His life has been easier than the others, never having to run or hide. He spends his days swimming through the open sea, sometimes rescuing those who’ve fallen into the water. He is a heroic, strong-willed dragon, and a friend to all who do him no harm.

Verosh, Elder Dragon of Death – Dracolich

Verosh was one of the three dragons who were felled during the Hunt. Although Kasius was nursed back to health and Teressa was reborn as the new Elder Dragon of Life, Verosh had other plans. He is a dracolich, a magical construct of bone and energy. His spirit held fast within the decayed remains of his former self. The phylactery he wears around his neck serves as his source of life, and those who have sought to take or destroy it have died. He lives in the mountains near the Wild Haunt, yet another reason travelers avoid that deadly swamp.

Verosh, in life, was always a bit on the crazy side. He never truly felt kin to his dragon brothers and sisters, and always looked for power where he could find it. An old book he found talked about a way to preserve one’s spirit at the time of death, trapping their bodies in an eternal form with magic beyond understanding. His power hungry nature prompted him to attempt this magic, and also to seek a way to die.

When he heard about the Hunt, he made his way to the realm of the dictator. He used his vile acidic breath to kill and terrorize, and when the king slew him, his spirit was trapped in the magical amulet he’d fashioned out of bone and gems. Now as a dracolich, he escaped to the Wild Haunt and he lives there now, devising ways to get as much power as he can. All who fall in the swamp are under his command, a great army of undead beasts which slowly grows in power as he grows madder and madder.

Four left, tomorrow.

While worship of Creation is the most popular religion, there are other types of religions as well. These are where the lesser deities are present. While I’m going to present a brief description of them now, I may explain more about some of them in the future – cause a lot of these deities have interesting stories.

There are three specific groups of deities: elementals, elder dragons, and local gods. None of these are physically gods, and are weaker in body than the actual gods, but they are worshiped all the same.

Elementals

The first group I’ll describe are the elementals. To understand the elementals, you must understand the elements. Dramoth Gilead doesn’t have the same four elements as other worlds (sometimes five, sometimes eights.) Dramoth Gilead actually has twenty elements (which makes things confusing for wizards.) They are separated into five categories – light and dark naturals, light and dark ordinals, and the foundations. These categories represent the order that the elements are found on the ley lines (I’ll talk about those later) with light natural furthest from the source of magic, and foundations closest to the source of magic.

Each of the elements has a being that protects it – it is these beings that are known as the elementals. They can be summoned by the sem (human-animal hybrids) at which point they take on a physical form known as a sentinel. When not in these sentinel forms, they can appear as thoughts or in dreams – usually in a form familiar to the one who they’re speaking to, although others take on a form they’re more happy to take. Because they are little more than the essence of magic, they are technically immortal beings. However, because summoning them is draining on the summoner they do not spend enough time in the physical forms to be truly called “alive.”

They are usually worshiped as more of a lip service. They’re remembered in festivals and in arts, but never more than being a helpful spirit to the majority. There are those races – like the gnollen – who worship the elementals, but they do not necessarily worship all twenty – only really the ones that help them.

The Elder Dragons

Dragons do not live in Dramoth Gilead. A long time ago they would travel between the different planes and appear before the masses – hence the use of dragon tongue for many different words. However, they left a long time ago. There are lesser beings resembling dragons – the drakes and the wyverns and house dragons (which are basically large lizards with wings) – but as far as anything called a true dragon, there are none.

Except for the elder dragons, that is. There were eight dragons that never left (technically six, but we’ll get to that explanation at a later date too.) These great beings live throughout Cathemega, choosing a life of rest and peace. Their true age is hard to tell, since they never really exist at any one point in time – planar travel tends to mess up perceptions of time and space.

The elder dragons are primarily worshiped by the tallis (which makes sense cause the tallis are draconic humanoids – so why not worship one who is like you?) The tallis themselves have a group of warrior priests who reside in great temples dedicated to each of the elder dragons. They made the temples in hopes that the elder dragons would come and live and speak with them, but none of them do – it’s always more comfy in caves and in nature than in a stuffy stone temple. The only others besides the tallis who worship the elder dragons are those who are interested in that culture, or who have been raised in that kind of environment.

Local Gods

The local gods are worshiped by different groups of cults or by races who do not agree to the more popular deities. They do not actually exist as far as the gods or elementals or elder dragons – but there are often times that some idea or some spirit is trumped up to a status of worship. Sometimes it’s a charlatan posing as a god, other times a spirit of nature gets bored and decides to spread a little bit of mischief. Overall, these gods are only odd beliefs held by a small portion of society.

Other Beliefs

There are a few other forms of belief system not related to gods or deities at all. Some races worship their ancestors’ spirits, or nature, or something of that sort. It’s rare to find an atheist or agnostic in the world, seeing as there is an actual physical presence of a deity who can be heard, touched, and seen. Of course there are those who deny that Creation really is a goddess, thinking her to be just some girl brought into the temple and raised into a belief system of being a goddess.

Next time, I’ll talk about the four races – humans, orcs, elves, and tallis.

Speak them into creation: the sun, the seas, the stars.

Speak them unto destruction: the moons, the fires, the void.

Bring upon its soils: the humans to wander like the waters, to trade, to make peace, to unite.

Bring upon its soils: the tallis to work metal, to bind the elements, to create technologies.

Bring upon its soils: the elves to protect the land, to aid nature, to hold true natural order.

Bring upon its soils: the orcs to wander the land, to command its wealth, to fight and conquer.

The elements together, the spirit of the living,  the souls of the dead, the creator and the destroyer.

Together we cry, the world of man, come forth and be legend.

With those words, the world of Dramoth Gilead was called into existence, fully formed with all its living creatures upon it. The two speaking – Creation and Destruction – are two of the three gods of the world. This blog will detail a wide array of things; legends, histories, science, biographies, geography, deities, and other things I feel like speaking about in relation to the stories I hope to publish one day. If nothing else, this will assist me with having an actual place to put down my thoughts and solidify my ideas. As my first post, I’ll explain briefly about the pantheon of the three gods, however brief it will end up being.

The pantheon consists of three members – Creation, Destruction, and Unity. They once existed in supernatural forms – power beyond everything that could be imagined. Together the three built up the world of Dramoth Gilead (aside: Dramoth Gilead is a dragon tongue phrase meaning “World of Men.”) After the creation of the planet, the three beings were ready to rest for eternity – except that Destruction had its own ideas.

Destruction is the agent of – believe it or not – destruction in the world. Without some things ending or being destroyed, creation would be meaningless. While it is not evil, Destruction is opportunistic. When Creation and Unity sought eternal rest, Destruction was ready to take the chance to lead the world as its supreme lord and ruler. Creation fought against Destruction, but its abilities weren’t strong enough and Destruction was poised to win. Unity stepped in, however, and used its own abilities to place an everlasting spell on the three beings.

The three great beings would lose the majority of their powers and live as spirits forever trapped in the bodies of living creatures. While still incredibly powerful – they lost their very godhood. Both Creation and Destruction can, however, convince others and call to their aid those who would be ready to help them. When any of the creatures who are filled with these spirits die – the spirits transfer to the next born being fitting their specific parameters.

Creation skips forever between the bodies of women. Creation never is aware of her own existence within these bodies, but there is one woman who knows who Creation is. The first of these women started a small religion that blossomed into the single largest religion in the world. She serves as the High Priestess, and when she is ready to die she transfers that position to another in her order. The High Priestess alone is aware of who Creation is born into. Creation is brought to the temple in Seiis and raised under the order’s watch.

Destruction skips forever between the bodies of men. Upon becoming appropriately aged, Destruction becomes aware of his abilities. It is at this time that the being makes a hard decision. Live as one of the great evils in the world and have unbelievable power, or die to save the world for another generation. Those who bend to the power of Destruction lose their essences and become the being responsible for the deaths of many millions of people. Those who kill themselves are freed, returned to the planet, and are born again usually to take on the roles of great heroes.

Unity, as the last and most powerful of the spirits, skips forever into the bodies of unknown creatures – sentient or otherwise. Unity is never aware of its own godhood, and none are ever aware of Unity’s presence. There is a set time and place, however, where Unity will again remember who it is, and at that point the world will face its final hours.

So forever they skip between the living and return to the earth to be reborn into other beings. The cycle nearly endless, and one point in the far future, everything will end.

My next blog post will likely be about the other lesser members of the pantheon.